Compass Cycle to Recovery

"The project has been a great success and at times emotional due to the impact on some of the young people. Thank you Crimebeat for the support and here's to 2024”
Simon Haste, Compass

During the first year of the project, 23 Children and Young People (CYP) were given the opportunity to participate in the project. All CYP were current or had just left support from Compass. We did not create a project criteria during the first year as we wanted to offer all CYP the opportunity to attend. 16 young people attended the sessions with 7 unable to attend due to late cancelations or illness. 

Discussions took place with all CYP about their relationship with Police and health professionals. These conversations took place over the workbench or whilst servicing bicycles, so that the young people did not feel directly questioned or where or intimidated. Most of the young people felt a disconnect with the Police due to negative press and the impact their own(CYP) drug use has had on crime and their education. Most see the Police as punishment not that they are able to support and prevent. All of the young people that attended agreed that closer work with the Police would help with their understanding of the role of the Police in the community. All CYP would like to provide bike maintenance sessions with the Police and work with them more. Compass are in current talks with OPCC to conduct sessions with them so we are able to work together on future projects. All CYP felt that their drug experience had affected their education and welcome joint work with Warwick County Council to create future links with Health and Education campaigns. This has been agreed with commissioners, with plans in place for 2024.

Compass made the decision to run the groups in a central location to support better access and travel times. During this time Compass were able to evaluate the need and best locations for year two. Bikewrench is a service course shop in the Canley area of Coventry that specialises in bike services and maintenance. Dean, who is the owner and machinic has provided services to Warwick and Coventry Universities, alongside bike training in the community. The shop provides a location that is safe and stimulating to CYP. Plans are now in place to run the project from Kenilworth, Rugby and Nuneaton alongside Bikewrench in 2025. During the CYP’s time at Bikewrench, they were not only provided the skills to build and maintain, new and old bikes ( see pictures) but they also had highway safety talks, bike history lessons and heath education.

All of the CYP that attended received support around:

  • Vape harm reduction
  • Drug harm reduction
  • Nicotine reduction work
  • Sexual health advice

Some of the outcomes of the CYP attendance are:

  • One young person is now actively working with the Prince's trust
  • Two young people have started College course in mechanics and hair dressing
  • Two young people have now engagement in talk therapy
  • Three have accessed social services
  • 4 Hidden Harm referrals were made for family members affected by drug use
  • One young person re-engaged with Youth Offending service(YOT’s)
  • Six of the young people are looking to attend future sessions
  • Two of the young people are looking to attend the Bike mechanic course in 2024

During the Project, 4 bicycles where given out to CYP who attend. These young people did not have access to their own bicycles for various reasons, but all donated bikes were worked on by the receiving young person. None of the CYP knew they were taking the bikes home until the end of the day. This was a very emotional experience for all involved and family members. All of the CYP that attended showed active interests in cycling going forward and some have even started to maintain friend’s bikes.